how Vladimir Putin was absent from earth for half an hour

how Vladimir Putin was absent from earth for half an hour


On February 22, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin flew on the strategic missile carrier Tu-160M. Kommersant special correspondent Andrey Kolesnikov accompanied and greeted by a missile carrier.

The fact that Vladimir Putin was extremely interested in the strategic missile carrier became obvious to me the day before, when he was within the walls of the Kazan aircraft plant named after. Gorbunov spent ten minutes in the cockpit of the currently unnamed Tu-160M, which, apparently, will be called “Mintimer Shaimiev” (at the suggestion of the president), although this will be strange: another person flew on it, and the missile carrier should now, in theory, be called “Vladimir Putin” ” But in the end there will be two of them, new ones, and somehow they will sort it out.

So, having descended from the cockpit, Vladimir Putin stopped and talked for a long time, looking at the aircraft and pointing at it, with his assistants. And then they even called the crew commander, with whom he had just broken up, to see him, and they agreed on something: everyone nodded to each other in satisfaction.

So I was not surprised when I learned in the evening that a flight was planned. In the summer of 2005, Vladimir Putin was already flying a Tu-160 on the Moscow-Olenegorsk route, launching cruise missiles, walking over the sea at an altitude of 200 meters at a speed of 900 kilometers per hour… Everything happened. Only the circumstances were different. And the US President did not speak as badly about Vladimir Putin as he did just now: “We have crazy sons of bitches like Putin and others, and we always have to worry about a nuclear conflict, but the existential threat to humanity is the climate.”

The idea of ​​flying on a rocket carrier a month before the presidential election looks especially promising against this background.

Meanwhile, it was consistently implemented. In the morning, Vladimir Putin met with the head of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, then they were joined by the first president of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev (at first a separate meeting was planned with him, but then a missile carrier appeared on the schedule of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, and the meeting with the past and present was combined).

We were already on the field, where the aircraft technicians prepared the car for takeoff and started the APU (auxiliary power unit), which made the noise already hellish. Well, minus 13 should not be discounted if we are talking about mourners.

But then it turned out that there would be a delay. Vladimir Putin decided to spend more time with his interlocutors, that is, he stayed to have lunch with them. He especially seemed to want to talk to Mintimer Shaimiev. Mr. Putin really considers him a person with whom it makes sense to do this.

And only an hour and a half later they went to the aircraft factory, all three of them in the same car. Yes, Mr. Putin offered to conduct it. So they waved their hands at him until the last moment, until the hatch of the missile carrier closed behind the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.

The pilots spent a long time checking all systems before the plane took off. The journalists on the field have completely and irrevocably died. Nobody complained, however. On the contrary, they thanked fate.

19 years ago I saw off Vladimir Putin at an airfield near Moscow, and then met him near the city of Olenegorsk: he committed then his first historic flight on the Tu-160.

Then, I must admit, it was summer. And our Tu-154 flew to Olenegorsk faster than the Tu-160 with the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. Now there was no task of firing cruise missiles at a small house (and in fact, I hope, at its layout). But everything turned out to be not so simple. That is, about 20 minutes after the plane took off, I saw that it seemed to be returning.

– No, it’s a bird! – the truly professional people, the aircraft technicians who were preparing the plane, reluctantly objected to me.

But it turned out that if it was a bird, it was an iron one, or rather a titanium one. The plane rapidly grew in size, descending with the landing gear extended, and when I decided that it would land right now, it took off again. It was a surprise, but only, as it turned out, for me.

“It’s working,” the aircraft technician waved his hand, making it clear that everything was planned this way from the very beginning.

At least he didn’t insist anymore that it was a bird.

Vladimir Putin descended from heaven to earth and, through the roar of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, answered a couple of questions. He said that “the machine is excellent, it is truly of a new generation, the leadership of the Ministry of Defense can accept it into the armed forces.”

After such and such, in fact, it is unlikely that any doubts will arise.

I asked the Supreme Commander-in-Chief how he found it all compared to how it was 19 years ago. Vladimir Putin chose to talk again, first of all, about the car.

“You know, this is really a new car,” he assured again. – More manageable. This can be seen with the naked, unprofessional eye. But also armed! This is a new, new plane! – he convinced.

It seems that the Tu-160M ​​really made an impression on him.

– Thank you! Thank you! – insisted presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov, looking at the president, who stood without a hat, in a jacket and overalls. In addition, Mr. Peskov himself was without a hat.

– Very cold! – Dmitry Peskov finally said bluntly.

— From the point of view of comfort, are there any changes too? – I asked anyway, remembering that there were problems with this then.

Mr. Putin confirmed.

“There is even a block where crew members can rest,” Mr. Putin reassured me.

Later, Vladimir Putin was asked what he thought about a recent quote about him from the US President Joe Biden.

— You asked me who is preferable for us as the future president of the United States (the question was asked by VGTRK correspondent Pavel Zarubin.— A.K.), and I said that we will work with any president, but I believe that for us, for Russia, Biden is more preferable… And judging by what he just said, I am absolutely right, because this is an adequate response to what was said on my part. He can’t tell me: “Volodya, well done, thank you, you helped me a lot.” We understand what is happening there from an internal political point of view, and this reaction is absolutely adequate, which means I was right! They asked me what was best for us. I said it as I said it then, and I think it now, and I can repeat it – Biden!

It is obvious that Mr. Putin, for the first time, intended to tarnish the bright name of Joseph Biden with the mere suspicion that the Russian President likes this man. And now he insisted that the intention was realized, since such a return came. I stained it then and gladly stained it again. Biden, only Biden and no one but Biden. What cruelty.

Meanwhile, this day will remain in the memory of posterity not for this answer, but for the fact that Vladimir Putin made another historic flight on a strategic missile carrier.

There is less than a month left before the Russian presidential elections.

But I would venture to say that it was not their fault.

He simply could not overcome himself. I really wanted to.


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